tv The Stream Al Jazeera September 24, 2013 7:30pm-8:01pm EDT
and for many areas diversity is also lacking. here is how the u.s. department of education explains chatters. >> charter schools receive money, but are free of the statutes that apply to other public schools in exchange for accountability, or producing certain results. chat h charter schools can be more flexible, creating a partnership that allows parents to invite, teachers to be creative, and students to achieve. and many charter schools best strong test scores. along where impressive attendance and graduation rates. charter schools are typically located in areas with high minority concentrations. charter supporters say the focus shouldn't be on the racial makeup, but rather on the improved achievements that the schools offer for otherwise marginalized students. critics say diversity in the classroom is important too. and helps prepare students to compete nationally. instead of money for charter schools they want all the funding used to improve traditional public schools.
so, does the racial makeup of publicly funded schools matter, or have we gotten to a place where it is didn't color of the kids to quality of what they are leaving. monotouring all your feedback. immigration in schools is obviously a major part of the civil rights battle, now we have got ton the point where the importance is diversity is a big part. >> most people seem to agree something needs to be done to improve the quality. diversity in the classroom not the school but the classroom, and says it definitely improves quality of education. speaking of charter schools she wasn't bullied be tough school was bare bones and he missed the full high school experience. somecharters to a fantastic job, but chris seems to think there's systemic problems poverty, lack of funding this is what is leading to all terrible education outcomes.
so stream teem as you know, you are the third host of the team, all of your online contributions drive this discussion, so throughout the school engage us on twitter using the #ajam stream. >> the century foundations -- he works at a century foundation, and has done extensive research on public and charter schools. andre perry has worked with charter programs in louisiana, and is currently the dean of urban education for davenport university in michigan. a p hurricanesd student who grew up in mississippi. he supports investing in education. welcome toe the stream. >> richard, i want to start with you, there are a number of charter schools particularly in the south, with if you look at the demographic
makeup, they are not particularly racially diverse. and that's leading some people to conclude, that charter schools are contributing to a resegregation of america. absolutely. >> sew the thing about charter schools is because they are not neighborhood schools the potential is they could be much more integrated. the last two -- they choose to go further from home, to an integrated charter school. research from ucla and other places has found that our regular public schools are already very segregated and charter schools are even more segregated. we have a lot popping up, that are designs for a particular group. you will have some charter schools that are aimed primarily at whites and that's a problem not only because of public
schools are supposed to bring kids of different backgrounds together, and foster six cohesion, but also because racially segregating grated schools tend to be economically segregating grated. and that's bad for education. >> a really long history of self-segregating so couldn't somebody argue it's not the charter schools be uh the people that are making the choices. >> well, absolutely. these are parents that are choosing to attend segregating grated charter schools. the question though is whether public funds should go to further segregation. so choice is one important value, but there are others. the reason that all of us pick public schools even if we don't have kids that use them, is because we all benefit from and contribute to the idea that in america, public education is supposed to bring kids together. we are a nation of dozens of different influences.
and the one thing that historically, has united us is the public schools. >> well, we have some communities here, america's too busy, worrying about things like the racial makeup of schools rather than academics and an adequate supply of books. the diversionty was my high school experience, it made me more aware and conscious, but class is just as important. i grew up on the u.s. mexico boarder was a minority within my school community. so that flips the tables, but i think it was great. i have friend from a hugely diverse background. all over the world now. and that was a big part of me becoming bilingual just by nature. it was a huge huge asset for me. >> carol, do you live through segregation. desegregation. how important is racial diversity to education and to the improvement of our future students?
>> i'm in louisville, not louisiana. >> sorry about that. >> we had desecration back in 1975, we also had mergers simultaneously, which that was as much a problem as desegregation. my children were involved. were in school, and so i got involved out on is school board. and it was very tumultuous, but my children remains in the public schools and got a good education, and i stayed on the board four years. i left and came back in 1990, and now my last grandson, i have four grandchildren, my last one is graduating this year, and they all went to public schools. when we would go to court, we had to go to court several times. when we would talk about it at the dinner table, they couldn't understand why you would have separate schools. because they said they wouldn't have the same friends that they have.
>> our school system, we have 102,000 students and growing. we have 107 languages. and we have 12,000 homeless. and 65% reduced lunch, and we have a lot of -- we merge diversity and choice, and parents love choice, and 40% choose choice. >> i am going to pause you there, i want to get to andre, speaking of choice, do charter schools break the link between where you live and go to school? or does it just provide a mechanism of choice for motivated parents and leaving the most disadvantaged kids behind in probably some of the worst schools in. >> well, you have to be careful not to lump choice programs with charter schools. because you can have charter schools that are neighborhood base, and you can have charter schools that are part of a choice program and an admissions program. where you don't have to
be based in the neighborhood, you can go to another school, but i want to go back to this motion of charter schools causing segregation. i just agree with that, i may not help in integrating primarily because the diversity of metrics are not including in our standard of quality. if we included diversity in what we consider quality, charter schools would be of use. but the rise of charter schools came about, because we can't wait for schools to integrate in order to have a better product. and that's one of the sadnesses of the brown vs. board decision. we learned that people aren't going to do the things that we need as a country. in order to reap the benefits of diversity. and so we have to go in and provide a different product. in cases where schools are not functioning well.
so charter schools can certainly reenforce what is already existing but they are not the driving factor of segregation. and let's not leave out private schools. if there is any one factor that has led to flight, it's in the private sector. they are free to use funds as they see fit. the idea is to get around nondiscriminationals. you heard what andre said, and heard some of our communities, what is your response to this? excuse me, robert. the charter schools show
that the schools of choice, including charter schools increase desegregation. but more so than segregation specifically in the american cell, where schools are already segregating grated. more important is the how charter schools ford local school districts to stretch the funding as they already have to fry to cover more facilities and more teachers. thus, creating an even larger vacuum in the traditional public school system. that have even less funds whereas charter schools only serve a small part of the population. speaking of the traditional school system, education week, ranks mississippi school system as one of the worst. 48 out of 50. some say school makeup is
faultlines investigates the epidemic of overcrowding in women's prisons. >> the system is setup to do exactly what it's doing - to break people and to keep them broken. i was just blown away is that certain legislatures weren't supported this. and then i talked to my friends and realized that it is because of our history that that's why
certain legislatures are apprehensive, and now i understand it. so what we have done is to say that the population of these schoolers has to be similar to the population of students in the district. >> earlier this year, the state of mississippi enacted legislation allowing public chairer schools. supporters see charters as part of the solution. but opponents fear it will further decrease the quality of education. you grew up in the mississippi education system, whether you think that having the option of charter schools is really going to benefit students? >> well, i have the opportunity to grow up -- my youth i got to spend time in the delta as well as in integrated schools in starkville, mississippi. so i got to see both sides of this. and i am very familiar with the current statistics about our state. we are typically dead last, or near the bottom in nearly every category related to academic
performance. that's just not for low income kids. that's just not for black kids that's almost every area. in order the move from last into first, which is why we created our nonprofit called mississippi fist, we have to do a lot of things p i think charter schools is part of that. i think that this could be a way that we can provide that. when you think about students that live in areas where all the schools in their area are failing, you don't have the option to a lot of parents don't have the means to move to boater areas. they don't have the opportunity to send their kids to a private school. in some cases there are some areas in the delta, particularly with private school may be no presidenter if not worst than the public schools in that area. so this could be an opportunity to provide options. >> do you think that's a good instrument for change? charter schools in an situation -- >> i think if charter
schools have some -- >> if they have some fairness guidance, so that we are encouraging charter schools to be more integrated from the regular public schools. then you will see positive results. there are great charter schools, there are great public schools. there are terrible charter schools and terrible public schools. and the when denominator, and those schools that allow an economic mix, in the classroom, will see better results. >> so economic diversity more important than racial diversity. >> yes. so high poverty schools are 22 times less likely to be successful than middle class schools. now, we all -- in the press we hear a lot about the high poverty schools, if we are looking at public policy. trying to make clear that we want everyone to succeed, then we need to deal with that.
charter schools could be a solution, if they are structures in the right way. >> who is this? >> this is andre, i wanted to -- i know richard is not suggesting this, but you also can't give this impression that we have to gentrify our way to academic success. >> exactly. >> we understand that income corelating with better outcomes. we have known that for a long time. but what happens when middle class people blast white or otherwise don't want to be -- to receive an education, with a diverse center. what i don't like about charter schools is that often times you create this change in government structure, and there's no different than the traditional public school offering the same type of product. in addition, i don't like charter schools when they create this mechanism for nonprofits to bring in teacher whose don't look like the students.
who aren't concerned with any kind of social justice issue, and don't necessarily bring good product in terms of teaching. because they are really no different than their traditional peers but when charter schools doe reute the best and brightener the community, when they do bring a different type, when they do use the invasion that they are afforded then you see quality, but i just -- i cringe whenever i hear that we almost have to gentrify our way to success -- because of this main point. whether it's all black, or white, or whatever. >> if i can follow up there, having taught in a charter school,ky tell you that you can put a group of african-american
students, a grow of low income students in a classroom, and they can produce results. they can be great students i have seen it happen before. ky also talk about when you look at the charter law that we have in the state of mississippi, we have the benefit of looking at what charter schools have been like in other states. one of the benefits of being last in doing everything, we can look at what is happening in other states. so we will have a very strong authorization process. >> our communities has chimed in about how to help mississippi public schools. there's a debate about funding, so candace says the problem with this, money will make the better argument is the money will go straight to administrative pockets and they will never even know it was there at all. bub that's a near impocket with this current administration. and arizona liberals says i think that states
slashing funding makes an impact onn't pas choosing charters. they are not last, it is rank 4th 8th out of 50. will giving public schools more money, cure the problems in. >> definitely. the school districts don't have enough money to hire experienced teacher whose can teach students the curriculums are bad, and the issue here isn't whether or not charter schools can be successful, it's that charter schools are small. and school districts are much larger than public schools. if we are choosing this small segment, and taking them out, putting them in these charter schools what happens to the rest of the students? they are in schools that have been stripped 067
their resouses. if we are talking about mississippi in particular, our charter school legislation requires that the district that has the charter school pay the charter school authorization board. so that's an extra burden that already had limited funding that successful schools don't have to pay. >> i would like to -- >> i'm going to pause you -- just for a second. i just want to say, there's a lot overeager on this matter. it clearly matters. what matters even me is the people in a school. if you are surrounded by peers that have big creams, parent whose are in a position to volunteer in the class, and if you can have exposure to great teachers what matters more, than the per capita spending is the peers.
low income kids that are two years ahead, that are stuck in high poverty schools. so agree with all the guests that poor kids african-american kids can learn at high levels the question is are we giving them the right opportunities in. >> and speaking of opportunities we have seen success in traditional public schools, and in charter schools, so the question is what can they learn from each other? think about that, and we will be right back. millions who need assistance now. we appreciate you spending time with us tonight. up next is the golden age of hollywood going golden but elsewhere. why l.a.'s mayor has declared a state of emergency for the entertainment industry there. next.
of the texas state board of education, and i am in the stream. >> welcome back. talking about declining diversity in traditional public schools and the impact on charter schools. do you think that the success or failure of traditional schools and charter schools are mutually exclusive? or is there success tied to each other. >> they are certainly tied to each other. if we learn from each other, what the best practices are, then all schools can succeed, in addition we have always had a diverse pallet of school types.
since -- and we often forget during reconstruction, the missionary groups that gave money to various groups they respond a great deal of traditionally black colleges and universities. and so it goes back to what are we going to do to get quality teachers and good teaching in these buildings so you can have a charter school with those things, and have success or have a charter school without those things and have failure. >> richard, what are we seeing in the youngest years? >> that's the encouraging news, more importants of all races are interested in diversity. if you look at the colleges they long ago realized that students will learn more if they are around people that don't have -- have had different life expenses. and so increasingly we are seeing white parents who are open to
diversity. q is encouraging. president obama talks about this, his kids are able to relate to students of different races much better than his generation. so it is getting better, slowly, what sen couraging so now there is this subset of charter schools that are about diversity. the hi-tech high in san diego, these are the charter schools that are purposely saying we can provide the best education possible if we provide a diverse environment for students. >> charter schools are not the answer to education reform, but they can be a strong lever if well regulated and christian says look, schools by being equal or better than 80%, they can do it. look for models in other
states that do both. and they say charter schools may be racially imbalanced. but at the end of the day, i think it is better to help some kids than no kids, what is your response to that? >> my response is that you help all kids. in jefferson county that's what we are doing. my children and grandchildren, went to the public schools and now that they are going to college, and out in the work force, they have -- they are not having trouble transferring to the workplace. because they have been with children all through their school year, and can't imagine why you wouldn't have diversity in schools. we have had it since '75, it was tough, but people are staying in, and people like it. i think the real answer to all this is early childhood, until we start getting young children, the three-year-olds in there and doing the job, it's not going to get better for a long time. you can have all the special programs you want, but if you don't
get them young, and it is harder to remediate thens to teach them, because they want to learn. and so i think that's where we are here. we are also looking at early childhood so they can have a good start. >> andre, we have about 30 seconds left, like you to wrap it up for us. >> again, i think richard said it, we have to include diversity goals in our school performance scores. if schools want to improve diversity, then they should include it in what makes for a better school. all right, thank you to all of our guests. sanford johnson and robert reese, thank you for joining us and a big thanks to our community as always. until next time, we will see you online.
good evening, everybody. welcome to al jazeera. the america first resolve our concerns over iran's nuclear program peacefully. >> president obama takes the stage and says america wants peace, but won't permit iran to have nuclear weapons. >> slammic republic of iran invites you and the entire world community to take a step forward an invitation to join the vague. world against violence and extremism. >> iran's president responds and says he is open to talks with the u.s., but the t